I'm trying to display my name on 16-segment displays and I know that each pin corresponds with one segment. The problem is it is too much work to derive the pin assignments for each letter since there are so many. Is there an IC that will do that for me if I give it the ascii code for each letter ? I googled that but I couldn't figure it out. google led me here: https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/app-notes/index.mvp/id/3211 I can't understand what it is about. Any tips on how I can do this in an easy way and efficiently ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The chip you linked looks right. What is it you don't understand? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 10:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ evilmadscientist.com/2007/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 10:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ A link to the display might be beneficial. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 10:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VladimirCravero I have no idea what all those tables mean. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 10:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ The driving can be done by a simple (PC) program, but then you would still have to connect all the pins correctly. If you used a chip like the one you mention, how would you drive it, from a PC? Or from a microcontroller? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


The chip you have shown is the right one. The important thing is to connect right pin to right segment -- this will obviously depend on the display yu have.

For example, the top horizontal segment is labeled "a" in Figure 2. You will want to find your LED datasheet and find out which LED pin corresponds to "a" segment -- lets say it is pin 10 for example. Then you look at table 1, and connect pin 10 "a" of digit 0 (first digit) to pin 9 "O2" of MAX chip; then pin 10 "a" of digit 2 (third digit) goes to pin 7 "O0" of MAX chip, etc.. You want to get a pen and paper and very carefully plot the connection. There is an example layout in the evaluation kit: https://datasheets.maximintegrated.com/en/ds/MAX6955EVKIT.pdf

That said, it may be easier to skip using a custom chip and just go to general purpose microcontroller. This will require a bit more coding, but a much easier hardware design -- for example, you may be able to just wire all "a" pins together, "b" pins together, etc...


@Myla This requires a Memory Map to be declared to convert Characters to segment Bytes.

The Table shows the MSB and LSB which combined becomes 2 nibbles or 1 byte.

  • You would convert from binary to hex for coding purposes.
  • Thus x111 becomes $7 and 0100 becomes $4 and $f4 is assigned to "T" and in hex$: 74 6f 6e 75 becomes enter image description here

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